Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What’s a doula?

  • What does a doula do?

  • At what point in my pregnancy should I contact a doula?

  • I have a great doctor or midwife, and will have a nurse.  Do I really need a doula, too?

  • I am already taking childbirth classes.  Why would I need a doula?

  • I’ve already taken another class.  Would you still be my doula?

  • Do I need a doula if I already plan to have someone (my mom, my partner, my friend) to be with me during my labor and birth?

  • I’m not sure that I want a “stranger” in the delivery room with me.

  •  Isn’t birth supposed to be private?

  • I’m not sure yet what choices I’ll make in labor.  Do I need a doula if I might have an epidural? What if I have to have a Cesarean birth?

  • How much does it cost to have a doula?

  • Are the costs of your services covered by insurance?

  • What areas do you cover?

What’s a doula?

The term doula, originally from the Greek word meaning “woman’s servant,” is used today to describe a professional who provides women with emotional and physical support during pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum period.   

What does a doula do?

A birth doula provides a listening ear for the emotional process of pregnancy, physical comfort suggestions during pregnancy and labor and informational support for both the laboring mom and her partner. The doula is knowledgeable about the entire birth process, possesses skills to help a laboring mom cope with the physical experience and emotions of labor and understands the importance of this event in the life of the couple. The doula will provide support for the expectant parents and baby by helping mom & dad formulate questions, gather information, and discuss the options available with the medical staff. The doula will not perform clinical tasks, and will never make decisions on behalf of a woman. A Doula will always respect that it is up to the mother to make the informed choice that is best for her. Most importantly, the doula uses her skills to complement those of the woman’s partner and medical providers, helping to ensure a satisfying birth memory. 

At what point in my pregnancy should I contact a doula?
The earlier the better! Although the benefits of having a doula for your birth will be the same whether you contact her at 12 weeks or at 35 weeks, the difference in finding your doula early in pregnancy is that you’ll have someone you know that you can call on with those “Is this normal?” or “What does this mean?” sort of phone calls throughout your pregnancy. As well, the longer you have known your doula, the more of a relationship you will build. Furthermore, you don't want to run into the problem of non-availability due to late notice, so it is a good idea to make contact soon, so that I can be sure to be available for you. With that said, there is no such thing as “too late” to find a doula. You will benefit from doula support, whether you have known your doula for months, or merely days.
   

I have a great doctor or midwife, and will have a nurse. Do I really need a doula, too?
Doulas, doctors, midwives, and nurses all take on separate and unique roles in supporting birth.

Each one is important part of the birth team, and all work together to help the laboring woman have a healthy and positive experience.  The nurse is responsible for charting, monitoring, and reporting to the doctor or midwife, sometimes for several patients at once.  Physicians and midwives are highly trained as medical experts, and are responsible for monitoring the safety of the mother and baby during labor and delivery.  A doula remains a constant presence throughout labor, focusing entirely on providing comfort for the laboring mom and her partner.  A doula’s job is not to replace any part of the medical team, but to complement their roles by providing constant support and information to the mom and her partner.

I am already taking childbirth classes. Why would I need a doula?
Doulas are intended to enhance – not replace – the services of your childbirth instructor.  Your doula will be with you to remind you at appropriate times during labor of the things you have already learned in childbirth class. 

I’ve already taken another class. Would you still be my doula? 

Absolutely!  I can work comfortably with any laboring woman, who is comfortable working with me.

Do I need a doula if I already have someone (my mom, my partner, my friend) to be with me during my labor and birth?
It is certainly wonderful for a laboring woman to have the presence of others who love her.  They bring the security of the history they share with the laboring mom.  A doula will enhance the support that others will provide, without being intrusive.  Often, your doula has a level of knowledge and experience that your partner / family member may not, having given her time and energy to the study of pregnant physiology, a large variety of comfort measures, and different laboring and pushing positions.  Additionally, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, and dear friends each have their own emotional response to seeing the woman they love experience labor, and to welcoming this new child into their lives.  A doula will respect that this is a special moment for each person, and will gently provide encouragement, information and reassurance that will help a woman’s loved ones offer their support in a way that also respects the laboring woman’s needs.   

I’m not sure that I want a “stranger” in the delivery room with me. Isn’t birth supposed to be private?

Birth is indeed an intimate experience, and the doula is a professional who will respect your wishes regarding privacy and modesty.  Consdier this: due to the more intimate role of the doula, often times, she will be the only professional in the room that has had an opportunity to build a strong rapport with the laboring woman and her birth partner... especially in a hospital setting, where the mom is meeting most, if not all, of the staff for the first time.  Many women and their partners report feeling more secure due to the presence of a doula.

How much does it cost to have a doula?
This varies somewhat, based upon the services you desire and the going rate in your location. Many doulas have fixed prices.  Many doulas work on a sliding scale.   The average range for doula services are $950 - $1250.  My prices range from $850 - $1050, depending on the services required.

 

However, I am very aware that the statistics for maternal and infant mortality are dishearteningly high in the African American Community.  Therefore I reserve the right to offer special discounts to families of color, and also to those within the Deaf Community, those who are birthing for adoption, or are an active duty member (or the spouse of an active duty member) in the US military.  Finally, a special discount is also offered to all those to have completed the Calm Birth Class at The Educated Mama in Sanford, FL, or who contract with me for private childbirth education.

Are the costs of your services covered by insurance? 

As more woman are choosing doulas as part of the birth team, and more research is being done proving the benefits of doula care, more insurance companies are covering the cost of doula service.  Many insurance providers also cover the cost of childbirth classes, whether those classes are private or in-hospital.  This is handled by you, directly with your insurance provider, after making full payment for classes and / or doula services.  While all receipts and information you need for filing for insurance reimbursement will gladly be provided, I can not guarantee that your provider will reimburse you.

What areas do you cover? 

I cover Orlando, FL and its surrounding areas including, but not limited to: Altamonte Springs, Clermont, Daytona Beach, Deltona, Kissimmee, Lake Mary, Lakeland, Longwood, Maitland, Melboune, Ocoee, Oviedo, Pine Hills, Sanford, Sorrento, St. Cloud, Tampa. Winter Park, Winter Springs, etc.